Layers. And more layers. That’s probably the most apt catch-all description of Fall fashion in Victoria. It may be sunny and hot at 8am, but as soon as 9:30am the clouds may roll in, with a crisp biting chill. And then noon? Could be clear, might rain, or maybe just a sprinkle.
Along with the flux in weather, and the constant need for layers, comes the yearning for warm comfort foods. Soups and roasts and warm cups of tea start to surface in our minds. And, in kind with that hankering, comes the craving for poutine.
The most compelling history of poutine is that a customer requested cheese curds on his friends and gravy at the Lutin qui Rit (the smiling leprechaun) in Warwick, Quebec. According to this tale, Fernand Lachance, the owner, exclaimed “Ca va faire un maudite poutine.” (that’s going to make a horrid mess). The only thing that seems certain, is that poutine has its roots in rural Quebec in the mid-1900s.
In light of the Fall desire for comfort and layers, enter Poutine with Purpose. In its second year in Victoria, during the week of October 19-27, each poutine you order and eat from participating restaurants will provide one meal for a youth in need, thanks to Mealshare.
The creativity of many local eateries has extended poutine’s scope beyond the classic beef gravy, squeaky cheese and succulent fries. Do you prefer chicken? Vegetarian? Vegan? No problem. Poutine with Purpose has you covered. The only non-negotiable is the potatoes, it seems. So far, the fries stay.
Garrick’s Head Pub’s poutine is traditional, with beer-battered fries, cheese curds and gravy topped with pulled pork. The fries were tender and salty and crispy, the pork was luscious and sweet. It was the perfect shared lunch. The Very Good Butcher’s vegan poutine was delicious. The gravy rich, the fries hot and tasty, and the curds, though more creamy than squeaky, completed this poutine incarnation beautifully. Varsha Indian Kitchen riffs on poutine with butter chicken and also a “tiger poutine,” featuring the butter chicken gravy and pork belly.
At the time of writing this blog 19 Victoria restaurants were participating, but more are coming on board. How many more reasons do you need? Take in a few laps of exploring the Fall hues of downtown Victoria and tuck into some local glorious poutine.
Talk about it! Love it, live it and eat it. #PoutineWeekYYJ